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4 questions about current stuff as I haven't built a system in 5 years

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January 16, 2009 10:10:29 PM

I'm building a core I7 920 system, but have only built one other system back in 2004 and need some help with some questions about current stuff.

I'll apologize for asking what are probably basic questions for all of you guys. Back in 04 I didn't post any question. I just did hours and hours of research and figured out all of the issues myself. However, I'm now in medical school and simply don't have the time outside of the hospital and studying to do all of the needed research.

Anyways, I'm building a system hoping to spend 1500 max. I don't play computer games all that much (mostly console), but I do occasional computer games and want my pc to be able to do this (1900X1200 resolution is what I'd like). I want good multimedia capabilities.

Questions

1. What's the best I7 motherboard? (I do plan on overclocking)
I've been looking at the Asus P6T deluxe and the EVGA x58 one.
The Asus was reviewed well on this site. EVGA was reviewed the best on newegg, but I haven't seen a review on this site yet.
I plan on having only 1 graphics card and not bothering around with multiple graphics cards in crossfire or SLI configuration (I think those two are where you have multiple graphics cards, I'm not sure though...) I mention this because I've read that some motherboards have connections blocked off when multiple graphics cards are in use, which won't be an issue with me.

2. What's with this multiplier stuff on the memory? What PC#### should I get? How do I make sure I'm under 1.65 V limit for the core I7?
As far as I know, multiplier deals with overclocking. I'm planning on DDR3 1333 ram. I think I read that 1600 will go over 1.65 V. Although I have no idea how to figure out what type of system will be over 1.65 V.

3. Is it ok to use a 32 bit system like Win XP with 6 GB of ram until Windows 7 comes out?
I know 32 bit has RAM limits, but I would think there's no harm in putting in more than this limit in anticipaton of Windows 7 since the computer just won't recognize it. Or is there some harm with putting more ram in the computer than the system can recognize?
Or should I/do I have to get Windows Vista 64 bit now?

4. How much memory if I want to go Windows 7? How should the memory be divided?
I'm thinking 6 GB. Originally, I remember it being better to divide memory into even numbers (ie 2 GB of ram is better in 2 1GB sticks than 1 2GB stick). However, with the x58/core i7 systems, isn't 3 sticks better (ie 3 2GB sticks is better than 2 3GB sticks)?


Any help would be appreciated. I want to get these questions answered. I'm then going to put together a system and post it an see what people think.
Any other tips about anything else would be great too.

Thanks.
January 17, 2009 12:35:38 AM

Read the most recent systembuilder marathon where they overclocked an i7 and this will help with some of your questions.

You can put as much memory as you want in the computer, with a 32bit OS you just won't be able to see all of it.
January 17, 2009 2:13:15 AM

1. By far the best reviews i've seen on X58 motherboards have been the Asus ones, they seem to have done the best job with their BIOS and seem to be the most mature boards out there.

2. I'd be inclined to go with the DDR3 1333 1.5 - 1.6v 7-7-7-18 or 20

3. I would go with Vista64 now, it's mature, not many problems and if you go with 6GB of RAM you'll need it. No harm with more, it just won't use it.

4. The X58 and i7 use triple channel RAM, it's best to go with 3x1 GB or 3x2GB etc.
Related resources
January 17, 2009 7:42:10 AM

If you want a review on the EVGA X58 board, go here: http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTYwMywsLGhlbnR...

HardOCP also has a video preview of the board, showing you a good bit of stuff on the board. I have the EVGA board myself, and I like its layout. Unfortunately, I happened to get the board with bad onboard NIC's, but other than that, everything else seems to be working fine. If you go with this board, and when you plan on updating BIOS, be sure to do look at EVGA's forums on how to do it because they have an interesting way of flashing the BIOS via thumb drive. Finally, the EVGA board is great for overclocking.
January 17, 2009 4:51:06 PM

dirtmountain said:
1. By far the best reviews i've seen on X58 motherboards have been the Asus ones, they seem to have done the best job with their BIOS and seem to be the most mature boards out there.

2. I'd be inclined to go with the DDR3 1333 1.5 - 1.6v 7-7-7-18 or 20

3. I would go with Vista64 now, it's mature, not many problems and if you go with 6GB of RAM you'll need it. No harm with more, it just won't use it.

4. The X58 and i7 use triple channel RAM, it's best to go with 3x1 GB or 3x2GB etc.



Yeah, I was thinking the Asus P6T Deluxe OC Palm.

By the way, what is 7-7-7-18/20??

Doesn't Vista have a huge number of problems? When asked, all of my friends with Vista said to stay with XP. They hated Vista (they only got it for DirectX10, which I don't need).
Or is the 64 bit Vista actually good? And the 32 bit the one with the problems? Maybe they have the 32 bit.

If the 64 bit is good, then I'll go with that, since I don't want to buy Windows 7 in the first 6 months to a year it's out in case it's buggy. I usually never buy an OS in the first 6 months it's out.

Will I really be gaining that much memory with 6 GB of 64 bit Vista? I know the OS will be able to recognize all of it, but from what I've heard, Vista is a memory hog. My friend told me it used 2 GB when it was completely idle on his computer. So if Win XP recognizes 3-4 GB out of the 6 GB, it probably will be close since Win XP usues much less memory.
Or is this analysis completely wrong? I'm just going with what a friend told me.

What do you guys think?
January 17, 2009 6:52:45 PM

the 7-7-7-18 are the memory timings, 2 DDR3 that i was mentioning are offered at newegg the other has 7-7-7-20.
When Vista came out...like you said "I usually never buy an OS in the first 6 months it's out. "
it had problems, especially with legacy components. Most problems seem to have been cleared up by service pack1 . You might try googling XP vs. Vista SP1.
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